This large volume is described by the author as a ""thematic source-book in the history of religions."" It offers a compilation of texts and documents drawn from all the religions of mankind, from the myths of the Australian aborigines to the legends and the sophisticated sacred religious writings of African, Amerind, Polynesian, Greek, Indian, Near Eastern, Japanese peoples. A vast body of literature has been excerpted, edited, and compiled by Professor Eliade for this book, and he has furnished helpful, expert notes and bibliography. A cross-reference index allows the reader to trace various themes in their ethnic and geographic contexts. In the very nature of the compilation, few items can be included in their entirety, but enough is given to provide the reader with significant examples. Intended in the first place for the convenience of students of comparative religions, this book may appeal also to many armchair readers who are drawn to dip into the religious literature of all mankind.